Music Master Zhi

Music Master Zhi (師摯) was a famous court musician of Lu, who may also have been the conductor of the state orchestra. Like most musicians of the time, he was blind. Confucius was a huge fan, commenting in Chapter XV of Book 8: “What rich and beautiful music fills my ears when Zhi, the master of music, is conducting…”

Appearances in the Analects of Confucius
Book 3, Chapter XXIII
Book 8, Chapter XV

Book 3
Chapter XXIII
子語魯大師樂,曰:「樂其可知也:始作,翕如也;從之,純如也,皦如也,繹如也,以成。」
Confucius was talking about music with the music master of Lu. He said: “We can know this much about music: It begins with everyone trying to play together; when it gets in full swing it flows harmoniously, clearly, and continuously until it reaches the end.”

Book 8
Chapter XV
子曰:「師摯之始,關睢之亂,洋洋乎盈耳哉。」
Confucius said: “What rich and beautiful music fills my ears when Zhi, the master of music, is conducting – right from the opening passage through to the finale of the Ospreys!”

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